Monday, October 7, 2013

I've Been Away For Too Long

It's been one of those years.  In fact, I've taken to calling it my Anna Karenina year, minus that whole train thing.  Unrelated, but I LOVE the 2012 version, holds up to the book.  And an eye feast for the costuming. 

Since my last post, I've divorced, moved out on my own for the first time in ages (apartment requirements were 2nd bedroom for my sewing room, and a washer dryer hookup - priorities!), and started a new Corporate America job.  And add to that, I've had my two laptops die, and now am searching and budgeting for a new one.  Crazy things guys.  All of the stress has left me completely uninspired to do anything but work on myself and have a little Sylvia Plath style alone time.  Like, no, really, I'm practically a hermit.  I've managed to unpack everything but my sewing room.  But the last two weeks, I have delved in to this project.  Get lost in sewing and refind myself is my goal here.  Also a bonus, my new job is wonky ass hours, 4 days a week I leave at 10:30 am (let's not even go there!).  That leaves so so much time for sewing!

So in this new what do I fill my non work time with gap, I've decided that it will be finally picking sewing back up.  I made a LIST.  A LIST.  Of all the projects I would like to complete for fall/winter sewing.  Then I realised that I already had a LOT of fabric already purchased for these projects.  So I spent my Saturday night cutting tiny swatches and taping them to the intended patterns.  RESPONSIBLE YA'LL!  It's a bit intimidating, however it feels good, as I can just create this list and tick all the completed projects off said list.  I've also lost a ton of weight and am almost back down to my healthy goal weight - which isn't set in stone, it's a when I feel comofrotable goal.  So in a way, not sewing has saved me time and money so that everything will fit properly.  But I will tackle that fabric stash (I didn't realise I even had that much fabric until I packed and moved it all!  12 step?  Because I still want to buy more.), and I will have a lovely new wardrobe soon. 

Meanwhile, I've been adding to my vintage pattern hoard.  And will be taking a pattern drafting class - a 3 parter - soon.  And I hear it involves homework.  But all in all, I'm ready for this.  Hopefully there will be lots and lots of posts and pics on the way!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sewing for Victory

Rochelle over at Lucky Lucille is have a sew along right up my alley!  1940s sewing?  Why yes.  I have plenty of patterns to go that route with.  

Last week I won the free fabric lotto.  Friend was giving away lots of fabric.  Several were full bolts.  FULL BOLTS OF FABRIC! One in particular jumped right out at me and begged to be taken home and made in to the Shirtwaist Dress, from Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing.

It's even shirred in the back!

I traced out my pattern pieces and pulled out the muslin, very excited to start this dress finally.  And then I reread the directions for like, the 15th time.  And realized I was having a Rescue Remedy moment, feeling pressured to finish this, and have it look perfect.  So I did what any logical sewist would do while trying to decide to use this as my challenge piece.  Start a new project!  

I wanted to try something simpler, especially since my serger is still out for repair.  And as I was cutting my muslin, I realized that this pattern is a 1940s reproduction.  DUH.  So I've decided that this will be my challenge piece.  I don't have to feel overwhelmed with this, and that is the whole point, to have fun.

In the true "Make do and mend" spirit of 1940s sewing, this is using items I already have (with the exception of buttons, which I will buy vintage, and a zipper).  Which is good, it means minimal cost to me!  

Most of the muslin (or as the lady at the Joann counter calls it, "Muslim, you always find a use for Muslim.") got made up today.  I'm really excited for this.  It is a really simple classic wardrobe staple.  I'm currently working on View C, but I have a feeling I'll be making all the other views as well.  I'm hoping to have my serger back in time to do seam finishes, but if not, I'll go true vintage and just do a clean finish seam.  I'll be back with pics soon!  Especially once I choose which of the fabrics to use!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sergerless and a Cardigan

A couple weeks ago I had planned on making some warm cardigans to wear to work (who knows what temperature it will ever be - roasting or ice cold) and at home.  I found some perfect fabric and a pattern even.  The pattern was the hardest part.  Not really vintage, which is where I am hoping to finally take my wardrobe.  But I chose the most structured long cardigan I could find.  It was a lofty task.  Everything is like this:

Seriously, can't I be comfortable without looking like a 3 ring circus?  And the last thing any woman wants is to feel bigger.  amirite?  So after much hmmming and hawing I settled on this guy:

Kwik Sew 3916

Still pretty large and roomy, but when compared to the others, way more structured.  I opted for View B on the right.  
Pattern acquired.  Next up fabric shopping!  I decided to go with some lovely novelty knits from  

This one washed up so nicely!  I was a little hesitant when I first felt it and considered returning it.  I'm glad I didn't.  This was the one I chose to use first.  

This is where the fun begins.  I've only sewn on wovens.  Knits always seemed to mystify me, like driving a stick shift.  Lucky me, my favourite local shop (Fabrique Fashion Fabrics pssst, they now have online ordering!) had knit classes.  Naturally I signed up and parked my pretty little butt down and took lots of notes.  All that was left was to grow a pair and actually sew the thing up.  

I made a muslin first (I buy it in bulk when I get the ever elusive 60% off coupon for Joann.).  I know, I know, different hand.  Whatever.  It paid off.  The original looked like what I had been trying to avoid, the tent effect.  

Seriously!?  And yes, those are Teresa's pj pants still on my dress form.  That was a size medium!  And now I remember high school sewing with my mum.  Medium for the bust, small for the rest of me.  I decided to just keep the size but try using the shorten/lengthen lines.  I took in in about 1" over all, and that did help.  Some.  

No shawl, but fit is certainly better.  I had to leave it at this point for a week to go to a funeral.  Where it was below freezing and I really wished I had finished sewing this up.  It's all finished now, and I really love it.  Been wearing it for over a week now.  No photos because I'm lame.  Next cardigan (because I have more fabric for this pattern!) I'm cutting to a size small (?!).

Right as I was doing my final seam finishes on my serger a needle broke.  No big.  Just replace it right?  WRONG.  When the needle broke it apparently hit my upper looper and ricocheted and bent the ever loving crap out it.  Couldn't even use the hand crank.  Luckily I have a protection agreement on it (THANKS MUM!), and she is in for repairs.   

This has given me time to clean up my sewing room.  I had been operating both my serger and my sewing machine on one table because I couldn't be fucked to clean up the one that was supposed to be my serger table.  

More than an annoyance, so I am glad that I won't have to deal with that anymore.  I also decided to take the closet doors off in my sewing room.  I have plans to go all Martha Stewart/Container Store organized on it eventually.  For now, the massive clean up has helped. I even sat down and planned my SS13 sewing projects.  Lofty man.  I don't think I'll even get to half of them.  But I have PLANS now!  

Until my serger comes back I'm going to work on muslins of things on this project list.  It's a start.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

First Post!

So here goes.  My first post for my sewing blog.  I've dabbled in craft sewing and that was a great way to get back in to the swing of things after getting my new machine (Viking Sapphire 835) and an absurdly long break from sewing in general.  I had ton of Christmas projects for friends and family this past year, and as fun as that was, I'm ready to get down to some selfish sewing and making myself a wardrobe to die for.  

A few projects of the past.  I'm eager to see how much I am growing as a seamstress!  

This was my first sewing project in seven years!  Purple over skirt in seersucker and a crinkle gauze under skirt, with lots and lots of godets.  Worn for a renaissance festival.  

A rather poorly made sleep mask.  But it gets the job done.  Self drafted pattern, which I am about to revamp big time.  

Coffee cup sleeve!  

Nap mat for my nephew.  He needed a pillow and blanket for kindergarten.  That just wasn't good enough for me.  This has an attached blanket, a pillow (with velcro backing so it can be removed and washed, same with the foam on the inside for sleepytime comfort), and it rolls up and has a carry handle so it can be easily transported.  Kiddo loves it!

Luggage tag.

Star Wars pjs for my nephew.  I made them a bit longer, since kids grow like weeds, and they can be rolled up in the mean time.  
Pattern used: Simplicity 9499

And Star Wars pjs for my husband too!  Same pattern as above.  Yay for two-fers.

And for my lovely friend Lady T, crazy cat lady flannel pjs.  :)  
Pattern used: Simplicity 3696

I've got a ton planned out for myself right now, and several projects that are still in muslin fitting state, but I plan on changing that stat.  I'm rather excited for this journey!